Even though you may be used to partying it up in public, you really don’t need to go out in order to ring in the New Year. In fact, if you decide right now to thoroughly enjoy a night in — say, by cooking the perfect meal, playing board games, and/or enjoying a little alone time — you can certainly have the perfect New Year's Eve at home with your partner.
“Staying in with your partner on NYE is better than going out because you get to have quality time with the one you love,” Nora Dekeyser, a matchmaker with personalized dating and matchmaking service Three Day Rule, tells Bustle. The typical whirlwind NYE scene — one where you're waiting in lines and cramming into packed parties — doesn't exactly make it easy to end the year, or start a new one, with any sort of intimacy or gratitude.
While staying home on New Year's Eve can be fun, it's also the perfect moment to slow down, reconnect, and reflect on the past 12 months. Dekeyser suggests sharing the three best moments you had as a couple, and then setting three goals to work towards in the future. This is your chance to chat about what worked, what didn't, and to come up with ways to make a few changes going forward.
Sound good? Then read on below for a few ways to make the most of your NYE at home with your partner, according to relationship experts.
1. Set The Stage
According to Marina Shalman, the lead design consultant for relationship consulting firm Rapport Relationships, the best at-home celebration involves changing up your space. And that means making your apartment feel as festive as possible.
Doing so will not only make the evening stand out from every other night spent at home, it'll also set the tone for a good time. Dim the overheads, light some candles, play music, and "bring in festive touches, from a few sparkling trinkets to your favorite festive glassware," Shalman tells Bustle.
2. Cook A Meal Together
Make an entire evening out of preparing dinner yourselves. There's just something so romantic about pouring wine, putting on music, and chopping ingredients in the kitchen.
You could even sign up for a class or follow a tutorial, and work together to cook something outside your wheelhouse. Working together isn't just fun, it "builds relationship skills and intimacy," Zoe Kors, a sex and intimacy expert and therapist at Coral, tells Bustle.
3. Try Something New In Bed
Since a NYE spent at home is all about reconnecting and building intimacy, don't be afraid to use this time to cuddle, hook up, and talk about your sex life.
Discuss what is and isn't working, whether you're both fulfilled, and remind each other of boundaries that should never be crossed. Then talk about fantasies, new positions you'd like to try, or whip out a brand new sex toy — and get to it.
"Not only are you adding some spice to your sex life, but you’re setting up for a night of feeling close and connected,” Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, a therapist and relationship expert, tells Bustle. And that's a good vibe to take into the new year.
4. Have A Movie Marathon
We've all felt the rush of introducing a favorite film to a partner, especially when it's one that perfectly defines your taste in cinema.
The cool thing about a NYE spent at home, Allison Gerrits, a matchmaker at Three Day Rule, says, is that it's "the perfect time to cozy up and take turns with your must-sees." So create a list of movies your partner hasn't seen and have them do the same. Just make sure you start the marathon early enough, so you can fit it all in before midnight.
5. Ask Each Other Intimate Questions
The intimacy of a NYE at home lends itself perfectly to sitting on the couch, wrapping yourselves in a blanket, and asking each other personal questions. (Or doing it via Zoom, if you can't be with each other in person.)
You could figure out each other's love language and promise to keep them in mind in the new year. You could play a game that increases intimacy. Or, as Gerrits suggests, you could spend the night asking each other a few of Arthur Aron’s 36 questions to make you fall in love.
“I wouldn’t recommend rushing through them in one sitting," she tells Bustle, "but you can make it your resolution to plan dates around asking two to three throughout the year."
6. Play Games
Speaking of games, this is another great way to spend NYE at home, feel closer — and have fun. Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, suggests putting on your coziest pajamas, mixing a drink or two, and playing something classic, like Monopoly. (Because if your relationship can survive a round of Monopoly, it could probably survive anything.) But more modern games are great, too. It's all about enjoying each other's company as you count down to midnight.
7. Throw A Zoom Party
After a night of cooking, board gaming, and connecting on a deep level, that's when you can call in the friends and family via Zoom, Trombetti says. Set up a "party" 30 minutes before midnight to talk, dance, and catch up with folks you haven't seen in a while. It'll be a great way to stay connected to the important people in your lives and even introduce family members to your partner, if that hasn't happened yet.
Then, raise your glasses together at midnight knowing your New Year's Eve at home was a good one, and cheers to 2021.
Nora Dekeyser, matchmaker
Zoe Kors, therapist
Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, therapist
Allison Gerrits, matchmaker
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker
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